Uber offers 10 million rides to people seeking COVID vaccinations

The offer comes as the ride-hailing giant seeks to get priority access to the vaccine for its drivers.

Andrew Morse Former executive editor
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Andrew Morse

Uber is offering free rides to people seeking coronavirus vaccinations.

James Martin/CNET

Uber said Thursday it would offer 10 million free or discounted rides to people seeking COVID-19 vaccinations, a pledge that mirrors a similar program the ride-hailing giant ran earlier this year. 

The company will partner with the National Urban League, the Morehouse School of Medicine and the National Action Network because communities of color have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, which has claimed more than 307,000 American lives

"We'll work to ensure that those most in need can get to and from a vaccination appointment," CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a blog post announcing the program. 

The offer of free rides comes as Uber seeks to get priority access to the vaccine for its drivers. The company has sent letters to both the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and all 50 governors asking that drivers get vaccinated early. California and a handful of other states have recognized gig workers as providing "essential" during the pandemic.

A coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech has been approved in the US for emergency use. Another vaccine, made by Moderna, is expected to get approval soon.

In March, Uber offered 10 million rides and food deliveries to healthcare workers, seniors and others as the scope of the pandemic became clear.

See also: First US COVID-19 vaccinations have begun. Where you are in line and how long you could wait